Track leads to gold
By Jon Tuxworth
Noosa cyclist Ron Boyle was part of the Australian team that failed to win a single gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games at Montreal.
It was the first and only time to date that Australia has returned from an Olympics without winning an event since 1936.
While gold medals were notoriously hard to come by in Canada 31 years ago, Boyle had no such problems at the World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Sydney recently.
Boyle won four gold medals in total in the 60-64 years division, including the 500m time-trial where he finished just two tenths outside the world record for the age group, the 750m sprint, the 5km scratch race and the team sprint.
Predictably, his performance was good enough to win Champion of Champion honours in his division.
The haul brings Boyle's total world championship gold medals to seven after winning the time-trial and sprint titles in 2003, as well as the time trial in 2001.
"I probably exceeded my expectations," Boyle admitted.
"The scratch race can be a bit of a raffle but I expected to do well in the time-trials and sprints.
"It's pretty hard on the Sunshine Coast because we've got no velodrome to train at, so I only train on the road.
"Road and track bikes are very different, so I had no real idea on how I was going."
The campaign was the first time Boyle had competed at the world championships since 2003.
"With the better bikes and indoor tracks they have these days, my times are fairly comparative to what I was doing at the Olympics," Boyle said.
"This is the first time the track championships have been held in Sydney.
"Previously they were all at Manchester in England and I couldn't make it because of financial commitments.
"They'll be held in Sydney for the next two years, and I think they've got an option for another three years after that."
Having only just becoming eligible for the 60-64 division this year, Boyle is ideally positioned to dominate his age group for a few years yet.